Long Island Restaurant Week

Long Island Restaurant Week is a tri-annual event held in the fall, winter and spring that is designed to garner positive publicity and additional business for the region's restaurants. The campaign offers discounted prix fixe meals to patrons during an 8-day period, all across Long Island and nets anywhere from 130 - 170 restaurant participants each campaign.

Long Island Restaurant Week was created in 2006 and the objective was to raise revenue and patronage for local restaurants during a traditionally slower time of the year – in the winter-post holidays, in the spring between warm weather getaways and summer barbecues, and in the fall between post-summer spending and pre-holiday savings. As well, the promotion allows the opportunity for Long Islanders to dine at restaurants that may normally be out of their price range this introducing new clientele to restaurants.

A database of over 1500 restaurants is updated annually and for each campaign, and restaurants are solicited to participate through telemarketing, e-blasts, social media and digital ads. Solicitation begins approximately three-months prior to each promotion starting. Every restaurant pays a fee to participant, which is later used for the campaign’s advertising budget. To raise awareness to the public, advertisements are placed at high-traffic Long Island Railroad stations as well as in print and digital ads in popular regional media outlets such as Newsday, Greater Long Island and Long Island Press. The Newsday print ads are of particular interest to participating restaurants as each restaurant is listed on the print ad, if signed up by a certain date. A partnership with Discover Long Island maximizes exposure to travelers during each campaign and a targeted social media campaign raises awareness of the promotion. Participating restaurants are also highlighted each day of the week of Long Island’s most popular news channel, News 12. A press release is crafted and distributed to media outlets, resulting in additional editorial exposure.

The tri-annual event also has a strong social media presence, with over 5,500 Instagram followers, 16.5K Facebook followers and a newly created Tik Tok page. Each restaurant participant receives a Facebook and Instagram post announcing their participation. Additionally, restaurants have the option to purchase Marketing Bundles” which offer additional exposure on social media, as well as e-blasts targeted to over 5,000 Long Islanders and articles on Long Island Restaurant News.

Each campaign has garnered 130 or restaurant participants in the promotion. Based upon a post-event survey to participating restaurants 80% of restaurant respondents saw an increase in business during the promotion, some by more than 30%. This resulted in increased revenue for the restaurants as well as tax dollars generated for New York State. In a post event survey to diners, 54% of diners said that they dine at two restaurants during the week, while another 10% say that they dine at three to four. As well, 90% of diners stated that they enjoy the social media updates from Long Island Restaurant Week. Additionally, a result of the promotion's success, several restaurateurs embrace the week by extending it beyond the eight days.

The marketing exposure for restaurants during these promotions is immense. The website saw over 100k users each promotion with over 250k views each promotion. The estimated unique customers reached in the partnership with Discover Long Island was over 265,000 across Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and TikTok as well as over 26,000 people who received the targeted email blast distributed by the organization. The Long Island Restaurant Week social media pages were also incredibly well visited with a reach of over 87,000 on Facebook per promotion and over 26,000 on Instagram per promotion. Each campaign has garnered over 20 editorial media placements reaching over 2 million potential readers in outlets such as Newsday, News 12, NBC New York, Long Island Press and Greater Long Island. The campaign has also received many awards including a Big Apple Award in 2008, was recognized as a Platinum Winner in the 2022 Marcom Awards, and a AVA Digital Award Gold Winner and a PR News Platinum Award Winner in 2023.

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